Allison Katsev


Stanford University, 1998.

Stanford University, 1990.

B.A., magna cum laude
Yale University, 1985.

Office: DMH 140
Phone: 408-924-5508

Areas of Interest

Russia and the Soviet Union.
European Intellectual and Cultural History.
World History.
Interdisciplinary methods.


  • "In the Forge of Criticism: M. T. Kachenovskii and Professional Autonomy in Pre-Reform Russia," in Historiography of Imperial Russia: The Profession and Writing of History in a Multinational State. Edited by Thomas Sanders. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999.
  • "Social Identity and Russian Cultural Politics: Defining the Historian in the Pre-Reform Era." Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1998.

Selected Honors

  • Teaching Fellowship, Introduction to the Humanities, Stanford University, 1998–2005.
  • Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, 1993–1994.
  • Mazour Fellowship, Stanford University, 1992.
  • Travel Grant and Stipend, Stanford Center for Russian and East European Studies/Institute of Russian History Exchange Program, October, 1992.


I am originally from Ohio and went to college at Yale University. After college, I traveled to Russia often, and then settled down to studying Russian history at Stanford University.

In my doctoral dissertation, "Social Identity and Russian Cultural Politics: Defining the Historian in the Pre-Reform Era," I reconsider the impact of Russia's encounter with modernity by examining elite identity in the first half of the nineteenth century. I analyze the changing self-representations of three Moscow University historians. I conclude that their careers suggest that attitudes towards modernity, far from fracturing educated Russian society, actually served as a source of cohesion. I am currently reworking my dissertation for publication.

After graduate school, I taught in Stanford's Introduction to Humanities Program. There I had the opportunity to teach interdisciplinary courses, with subjects ranging from Russian culture, to art and philosophy, to philosophical and anthropological perspectives on mortality. From this experience, I developed a particular interest in the ways that other disciplines can enrich discussions of "history."

I joined the faculty of San José State University in 2005. I teach survey courses in Russian, European and World history, as well as seminars in historiography and research methodology. In my classes, I include art, architecture, literature, film, etc., encouraging students to explore the past from many angles.